Woodworking--an age-old craft that employs some of nature's most beautiful material to grace our homes and ease our daily life with a wide range of functional objects. Woodworking is a craft that you can never master, a skill that draws on your whole self--head and hand working together. Whether you are looking for beautiful wooden objects or thinking about building your own craft skills--our shop is here to meet your needs.
I have been woodworking for as long as I can remember. One of my first furniture projects (at four or five) was a footstool for Mom. I found an oval sink cutout in the neighbor's trash, nailed on four square blocks for legs (cut from some of Dad's 2x2 walnut stock) and Mom helped me add an upholstered top. She said it was wonderful--and I have been making things from wood ever since. I have been inspired and tutored by my father and grandfathers. Grandpa Burnham made musical instruments and furniture; Grandpa Rummer made clocks, dollhouse furniture, and restored antiques. Dad built projects like bookshelves and display cases. He also encouraged my shopwork, building my first faceplate lathe from a washing machine motor when I was in junior high.
More recently I have come to understand that woodworking and craftsmanship are a family tradition that has been passed along through many generations. My great-grandfather's (John Michael Rummer) tool chest was uncovered when we cleared out the old garage. He emigrated from Germany and supported his family as a wagonmaker. He was the namesake of a long line of Johann Michael Rummers going back to the mid-18th century.
The first Johann Michael Rummer (1747-1821) was an expert in marquetry, the art of inlaying small pieces of wood like a jigsaw puzzle to create life-like images. He apprenticed in the workshop of Abraham and David Roentgen in Neuwied, Germany where he learned his basic woodworking and marquetry skills. He took his "wander-year" of journeyman training at Newcastle House in London, in the workshop of William Gomm and returned to be a leading craftsman in the Roentgen studio. His marquetry work decorated desks, tables, and other fine furniture for the royal houses of the late 18th century.
Our name--Joh. Rummer and Söhne--is drawn from this story. A tradition of woodworking craftsmanship is the foundation of our shop--creating beautiful and useful objects of wood; and sharing the joy of woodworking with new generations of aspiring craftspeople.